New Look Guide for Lough Erne Canoe Trail

The award winning Lough Erne Canoe Trail has continued its ongoing development with the production of a new waterproof guide which makes it even easier to explore Fermanagh’s lakes by canoe.

Crichton Tower, Gad Island, Upper Lough Erne

The Lough Erne Canoe Trail was launched by Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland (formerly CAAN) in May 2005 and has gone from strength to strength ever since.   In 2008 it was the first Northern Irish project to be recognised by the British Urban Regeneration Waterways Renaissance Awards and early in 2012 a cottage was refurbished on Trannish Island to provide Bothy accommodation for canoeists.

“There has been so much development on Lough Erne since we originally launched the trail back in 2005. The Trannish Island Bothy and the ongoing infrastructure improvements by Waterways Ireland and Fermanagh District Council have significantly increased Lough Erne’s potential as a canoeing destination. The new guide reflects all these changes ensuring canoeists can make the most out of their experience in Fermanagh.” explained Sarah Noble, Senior Product Development Officer, Outdoor Recreation NI.

The 50km trail from Crom to Muckross is by far the most popular of the 9 canoe trails promoted by Outdoor Recreation NI because it is suitable for such a wide range of abilities. The shelter of Upper Lough Erne provides a superb venue for those embarking on their first canoe trip whereas Lower Lough Erne can become rough in strong winds and in such conditions is best left to experts.

The trail is certainly a great addition to Fermanagh’s tourism offering. Of those who have experienced the trail 85% stated it enhanced their experience of the area and 91% stated they wished to return to the area again in the future.

Éanna Rowe Head of Marketing & Communications, Waterways Ireland stated “Waterways Ireland welcomes the development of the redesigned Canoe Trail Guide for Lough Erne. Our Partnership with Outdoor Recreation NI in developing the trail has been fruitful and we look forward to more canoeists enjoying the trail using this new guide”

The new waterproof guide, which can be ordered free of charge on, indicates all the slipways and jetties at which canoeists can access Lough Erne whilst also providing key information such as campsites, toilets, fresh water, points of interests etc. The guide is also available in an interactive format on which also provides additional information such as canoe hire, guided trips, suggested itineraries and accommodation.

Councillor Thomas O’Reilly, Chairman of Fermanagh District Council, stated ”

As a council, we were delighted to be able to continue to invest in this worthwhile tourism project which will greatly benefit both the local community and visitors to Fermanagh”

This project has been developed by Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland, Waterways Ireland and Fermanagh District Council.   Other project partners include The Canoe Association of Northern Ireland and Share Discovery Village.


The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (January 7 – 13).

  • Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival – Out to Lunch, various venues, Belfast, January 2 – 27.  Out To Lunch is back with its welcoming, warming stew of music, comedy and literature to delight and entertain everyone.
  • Burns and Burnsiana Exhibition, Linen Hall Library, Belfast, January 7 – February 1.  The poetry of Robert Burns continues to entertain and interest lovers of literature as he is one of only a few who wrote in the Scots dialect.  The Linen Hall Library has the largest Burns collection outside of Scotland and this exhibition features material not generally available to the public.
  • Aladdin, Ardhowen Theatre, Co. Fermanagh, January 10 – 13 & January 15 – 19.  The wicked Abanazer is seeking the magic lamp that contains the all-powerful Genie, so that he can rule the world, and is just steps away from succeeding.  Is all hope lost? No! Help is at hand as a family posse of wannabe heroes foil Abanazer’s evil scheme. 

  • Megaliths of Northern Ireland Exhibition, The Braid, Ballymena, Co. Antrim, January 10 – February 23.  This exhibition gives an insight into what life was like in the mid-Antrim area 6,000 years ago during the Neolithic age, focusing on the significance of ancient standing stone structures that are scattered across this region.
  • Home Grown 2012, Millennium Forum, Co. Londonderry, January 11.  Join three of Derry’s best loved musical talents – Paul Casey, Bronagh Gallagher and Paddy Nash and the Happy Enchiladas – in a special concert to kick-start the UK City of Culture celebrations.
  • Conal Gallen – Laughing Out Loud, Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, January 11.  Conal Gallen is Ireland’s number one comedian and following his sell-out tour in 2012, he is back with his show – Laughing Out Loud – which is littered with jokes, stories and songs.
  • Neil Delamere: DelaMere Mortal, Market Place Theatre, Co. Armagh, January 11 – 12.  A newspaper article said that by now Neil would be mature but the chance discovery of a long forgotten videotape featuring his younger self leads to a hilarious examination of the theory.  Join Neil as he figures out which is the better version of himself – the idealistic teen or the world-weary adult. 

  • One Day in Salvador, Down Arts Centre, Co. Down, January 11 – February 9.  This exhibition will focus on a world where the grand sights of nature, the architecture of the past and the celebrities of the present grab our attention and will make visible the workers of Salvador.
  • Short Circuit Karting, Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Kircubbin, Co. Down, January 12.  The 500 Motor Racing Club of Ireland has organised a short circuit meeting featuring direct drive junior and senior classes.
  • Painting Meets Poetry, Ulster Museum, Belfast, January 12 – February 9.  An afternoon of poetry readings inspired by John Luke and John Hewitt who both created an image of Northern Ireland as a region with a uniquely modern identity during the 1930s to 1970s.

Happy New Year from everyone at! Here are Jacqueline’s pick of New Year events taking place this weekend across the North.


The Kinder Transport Project and Magills’ Farm is a professional exhibition supported by the office of First and Deputy First minister on the history of Kinder transport project during the 2nd World War. It tells the story of how many thousands of refugees were displaced out of Europe. It also explains how Magill’s’ farm in Millisle was a ’Faraway Home’ for over 300 refugees. Stunning and emotional audio visual stories presented from the 1st January to 28th February at the Boy’s Brigade Heritage Museum Millisle.


A native of the southern state of Louisiana in the United States of America, country singer Robert Mizzell has made Ireland his home for the past seventeen years. With his five piece band, The Country Kings, he has risen to become the premier country music act in Ireland. Robert Mizzell will be at the intimate Alley Theatre for one night only on Thursday 3rd January and will be joined by special guest Lisa McHugh. Expect a wonderful night of superb country music. Early booking recommended.


Learn how to cook for that perfect dinner party on Saturday 5th January with the Belle Isle Cookery School Lisbellaw.  Whether you are cooking for 2,8 or 12, this course will share all the plan-ahead secrets for a truly memorable dinner party. You will use seasonal ingredients to create delicious starters, main courses and desserts to impress your guests, without any of the stress.


A magic mirror, a jealous queen, a poisoned apple and the tiniest friends ever imagined – it’s panto time again at the Forum!  Telling the story of the young princess who finds herself on the run from her wicked stepmother and takes refuge in the forest with seven pint-sized men, SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS remains one of the best-love pantomimes of all time.  Packed with great song and dance routines, hilarious comedy, dazzling scenes and magical special effects, this festive favourite is fun for all the family from 4-94!  Featuring William Caulfield and a star studded local and Northern Irish cast with a special ‘magical’ appearance by Daniel O’Donnell, this energetic Christmas treat is sure to be a hit with audiences far and wide. Performances run until 5th January.


To coincide with the exploration of sub-glacial Lake Ellsworth in Antarctica this winter Millennium Court Arts Centre presents Crystalline, an exhibition of work by both internationally known artists and local practising artists, graduates & postgraduates living or working throughout Northern Ireland. The exhibition incorporates pieces submitted through Open Submission and by invitation. The work explores the twin themes of scientific endeavour and the landscape of Antarctica. Working in various disciplines the artists represented in Crystalline cover many facets of Antarctic exploration, teasing out aspects of the barren terrain of the surface (seemingly devoid of colour, sound and life) and the inverted landscape of the sub-glacial underworld. Continues until 26th January.


After last year’s triumphant return, the Lambeg Players go traditional once more at the Island Hall Lisburn with the evergreen Aladdin, this time by author Bruce Gardiner.  The production is directed by well-known local man Simon Cunningham and will feature the usual Lambeg ingredients, so a great fun night for all the family. Runs from Wednesday 2nd January to Saturday 5th January.